So, once Marissa was born things got a little busy… I don’t understand why. 🙂 Anyways, Marissa has been doing great! Here is a quick update on the last 4 months.
August 2nd – Marissa is born!! We got a call from Marissa’s birthmother on Sunday night August 1st… she was on her way to the hospital! On Monday morning around 9:05am I got a picture texted to me of our new baby girl! I had just arrived at work – and promptly left at about 9:10am 🙂 There was NO way I could work anymore. I was so excited! I went home and started calling people, sending out her picture and who knows what else. We had to wait to get the OK to come to the hospital… that was the hardest wait!! We finally got the call in the afternoon on August 3rd. We were over there within 30 minutes. My heart felt an overwhelming love for our daughter! I remember thinking – WOW… what a miracle! This picture is of our first visit with Marissa.
August 4th – The day Marissa was scheduled to come home. This was the most exciting, but also very emotional day for all. We met the caseworker at the hospital at noon that day. We signed some paperwork while the birthmother’s caseworker was working with her to sign paperwork. We then went in the room. I’m not going to share a lot about this out of respect for those involved (if you have questions about let me know and I can talk to you via email), but this was a very emotional day for all involved. Once we got home the visits began! We were overwhelmed with all the people that wanted to meet Marissa! Those first few days were surreal. We were so exhausted, but didn’t care. Tim took a couple weeks off which was a life saver. That would have been tough on my own that’s for sure. All we did for hours and hours on end is watch her… we watched her smile in her sleep, make faces and cry. All so magical!
September 17 – The adoption was going to court on this day. Bethany Christian Services had not gotten signed paperwork from the birthfather, so this was a very nervous day for us. If the birthfather showed up for this, we were told that it would get rescheduled and arguments would be heard for him contesting the adoption on a different day. We did not go to this… so I was waiting around at home… carrying my phone everywhere I went. We got a call about 3:30pm… she could not say the words quick enough. He did not show up!! Everything was final and Marissa was ours!!
September 18-Now – We have 2 visits with our case worker (one we already had at the beginning of the month – the other will be at the beginning of March). Once those are complete, we will receive a birth certificate and final papers. We are so enjoying our new daughter! She is the most beautiful little girl that seems to always smile at everyone. She just makes our hearts melt each day.
For those of you that are wondering – this is an open adoption. So, we have visits with Marissa’s birthmom every 3 months or so. We send pictures and updates every other week (unless things are really busy). We love her birthmom and are so excited to have her be a part of Marissa’s life too. Last month we were able to attend her wedding. We felt honored to be a part of that day. We got some great pictures for Marissa to have some day.
So, this is how the last year has looked for us with the adoption…
April 2009 – Informational Meeting at Bethany Christian Services
Explained the basics about domestic infant adoption. Very helpful, but for the most part we were not ready for that meeting at that point. We had just lost the twins maybe a month before that and it was a tough meeting for us. At that point we knew we weren’t ready.
April-August 2009 – Prayed for God’s direction on what He desired for us
We had several people praying for us during this time. We met with an amazing couple from our church that has adopted domestically. They helped us in so many ways as we sought out God’s direction. They have never stopped praying for us. I was also able to spend time with a friend that was going through domestic adoption at the time. I think I asked like a million questions!
August 2009 – Felt God leading us to move forward with adoption
We attended a Christian Band Festival in August where Tim really felt that God was telling him that we needed to move forward. Many of the artists were either adopted or talked about kids they adopted and how blessed they were because of them. I had already felt like we needed to adopt… so I was excited when Tim was hearing that too. I knew that I didn’t want to push anything unless we were both on the same page and ready.
September 2009 – First meeting with our case worker at Bethany Christian Services
It was great meeting with Kim – our case worker. She was so friendly and excited to give us a clear picture of what adoption is like – amazing, beautiful picture. She lent me a book that I will talk about in a later post… it helped change my view on open adoption. She sent us home with a page after page of paperwork that needed to be filled out – I felt like I was writing an autobiography on myself!
September-October 2009 – Additional meetings with case worker
Part of working through the adoption process is meeting with the case worker 4-5 times at her office, then she comes to our home for what is called the “Homestudy.” Even though for some of these I was a little nervous… it was nothing to be nervous about. Kim made things so easy!
November-December 2009 – Homestudy & Profile Creation
Our caseworker then takes all of the information she learned from our meetings and our “auto-biography” and writes up a really big “homestudy.” This is then passed on to her boss who looks it over and gives her approval. At home we begin work on a “profile.” This is basically a big photo book that we get printed – it tells all about Tim and I, how we met, what we like to do, what our families are like, etc. They will show this to expectant moms.
December 22, 2009 – Officially approved and waiting!
This means the homestudy is complete and they are ready to show us! I’m bringing our profile book to Bethany tomorrow! YAY!
Now we wait… I’ve heard this is the hardest part. We are trusting God’s plan for our lives – hopefully it will be to have a child soon, but we know He will take care of us if we are not to have a child yet. God has been amazing to us and provided more than we could have ever imagined in our lives. I’ve learned to live for today and not worry about tomorrow. Now I say that, but a couple months down the road I will probably need to be reminded of that. We are told that the wait could be a couple months or it could be a couple years. We are just trusting God each day.
April 19, 2010 – We’ve been selected by a birthmother!!
We got the call from our caseworker that we’ve been choosen by a birthmother that is due August 9th!! We are going to have a baby girl!
May 3, 2010 – First Meeting with Birthmother
We were super nervous, but it went really well. We met at the Bethany office and talked for over an hour. We learned so much about her. She is such a strong girl!
June 2010-July 2010 – Two more meetings with Birthmother and her family
We met the family and have really enjoyed getting to know them. What a great family!
August 1, 2010 – Going into labor
We got a call in the evening from the birthmother… we were just walking into church when I saw her name pop up on my phone. I was SO excited! After that… it was all I could think about. I couldn’t wait to see our little girl!
August 2, 2010 – Marissa is born
Got a picture text a little after 9am with a picture of the nurses just wrapping little Marissa up. AMAZING! I cried happy tears! She is beautiful! I was at work… but didn’t stay long. I couldn’t concentrate on anything else! We didn’t get the OK to go to the hospital yet… so I was patiently waiting for a call saying we can go up. It didn’t come this day. That was SO hard!
August 3, 2010 – 2:00pm – We got the call that we can come and visit
I called Tim who was still working… he came home right away (that was the longest 30 minutes EVER). We went to the hospital and saw our little Marissa for the first time. All I could do was stare at her. She was moving her little lips and fingers. What a miracle and blessing from God! We stayed there for about an hour and had to leave, knowing that tomorrow we would get to take her home.
August 4, 2010 – 12:00pm – Taking our baby home
We met up at the hospital at 12:00pm for the discharge of the birthmother and Marissa. We brought her home!! We got home about 2:30pm… wow was it good to be able to hold her for hours and hours and just watch her. The hour visit the day before was great… but this is what we were waiting for!
August – September, 2010 – Visits with Birthmother
We had two visits with the birthmother and her family before the court date. They were great visits and Marissa is so blessed to have so many people who love her SO much!
September 17, 2010 – Court Date
This is the date we were waiting for. Because the birthfather wasn’t consenting to the adoption, we were a little nervous about this date. We had MANY people praying that he just would not show up – which would mean his rights would be terminated. God answered our prayers!
Next 6 months – Visits
Now we will have to do a 3 month visit with our case worker and a 6 month visit. She will come into our home and just make sure we are doing ok as parents to Marissa. Once the 6 month visit is done… papers will be filed for us to be legal guardians to Marissa! We will also be meeting periodically with the birthmother. She will continue to be a part of our lives, which we are excited about.